[Mr X] said leading universities should admit bright teenagers from poor homes with lower A-level results than their middle-class peers in an attempt to boost social mobility.
As students across Britain continue to battle for remaining university places, [Mr X] said admissions tutors in subjects such as law and medicine should increasingly judge candidates on their “potential”.
“All of our leading professions are essentially full of people who have [come] from a relatively small number of elite schools into the most competitive universities with three As at A level,” he said. “I want the medical profession and the legal profession to have a diversity of people in them.”
- the daemon Asteroth, also known as Harriet Harman
Answers in the comments, please. Bonus points if you can tell me a) who it is, and b) how the hell we can hunt these bastards down and finally eradicate them.
Yes, you were correct—and fast!
Mr X is, in fact, Mr David "Two-Brains" Willetts, the Coalition Moron currently in charge of Higher Education, as reported in the Telegraph; the excellent Counting Cats in Zanzibar fillets these ridiculous proposals in more detail.
And they are stupid proposals. But if the universities also think that they are stupid, it's just tough tits—they shouldn't have taken the state shilling in the first place, should they? After all, the state tries to use state provided services to force us what to do and how to live—and we've paid for the bastard services in the first place...
UPDATE: A&E Charge Nurse has weighed in with a comment that I can totally appreciate...
"And they are stupid proposals" - no they're not, Willets is right and YOU are wrong.
Exam results may reflect intelligence, but only in part. The best grades are achieved (in the main) by kids from the better schools with all of the extra curricular support on offer to them (private tutors, laptops, mates with enough house space for them to gather, etc).
Generally these children become much more adept at playing the game, in other words they are better at anticipating which boxes need to be ticked, then ticking them off (with a Ronaldo type wink to Mum or Dad for writing up 50% of their course work).
My oldest starts at Bristol Uni in a few weeks (after a gap year) her sib achieved x3 A's (inc A*) at A-level and is applying to Cambridge - neither are particularly clever but instead reflect the dreadful cynicism that pervades education when enquiring minds are reduced to exam jockeys.
A poor kid living in a dangerous neighbourhood from a single parent family, who achieves Bs or Cs at A-level is just as worthy of a top Uni place as yet another candidate from the middle class production line whose grades are a result of the advantages that the majority of working class children can only dream about.
Until we have a level playing field the self evident situation described by Willetts will continue in perpetuity.
As long-time readers will know, I have little respect for the value of a university education. I did enjoy university, and I did learn the beginnings of my craft there. It was just nothing to do with what I was studying.